Sebu Simonian, an Armenian singer, songwriter, and keyboardists will be participating in a free concert on April 21 in San Francisco’s Union Square at 5 p.m. Tuesday April 21. He is very proud of his heritage boasting, “we were the first Christian nation.” This indie-pop artist makes up half of the duo, Capital Cities, and he is talks candidly about the Ottoman government that killed an estimated 1.5 million people in 1915. He says, “It is ingrained in the Armenian psyche,” and he explains how his grandfather, at the age of 3, fled from southern Turkey because of the genocide, and how his family later ended up in Los Angeles to escape the Lebanese civil war.
His solo concert will commemorate the “resilience and endurance” of the Armenian arts, as it has now been 100 years since the genocidal war.
“It’s important for this atrocity to be recognized by the global community,” said Simonian, for the United States and other governments to officially recognize the mass killings as genocide so that the families of the victims can seek legal damages against the Turkish government for confiscated land, and from American life insurance companies for unpaid policy claims.
Rolling Stone declared last year that Simonian by far had the best beard — “luxuriant, Rasputin-like” — at the 2014 Coachella music festival.
The Union Square concert is one of several Bay Area events organized by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee, including the “Witness and Rebirth: An Armenian Journey” concert April 26 at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre featuring the Fresno Philharmonic, Fresno Master Chorale, Fresno State Concert Choir, mezzo-soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, violinist Catherine Manoukian, baritone Eugene Brancoveanu and the premiere of composer Serouj Kradjian’s “Cantata for Living Martyrs.”